Footage shows F-35Bs launching from the deck of HMS Queen Elizabeth as the vessel and her air wing join the fight against Islamic State.

These are the first ever combat sorties flown from the carrier.

The Ministry of Defence say that stealth jets of the renowned 617 Squadron RAF (The Dambusters) carried out operational sorties for the first time in support of Operation Shader and US Operation Inherent Resolve.

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said:

“The ability to operate from the sea with the most advanced fighter jets ever created is a significant moment in our history, offering reassurance to our allies and demonstrating the UK’s formidable air power to our adversaries. The Carrier Strike Group is a physical embodiment of Global Britain and a show of international military strength that will deter anyone who seeks to undermine global security.”

The Royal Navy say in a news release:

“From exercises and international engagements, it is now delivering its full might of naval and air power, putting the “strike” into Carrier Strike Group and contributing to the UK’s fight against Daesh.”

Images of two Royal Air Force F-35B Lightnings conducting sorties in support of Operation SHADER.
The jets are operating off of the HMS Queen Elizabeth as part of Carrier Strike Group 21.

Commodore Steve Moorhouse, Commander United Kingdom Carrier Strike Group, said:

“HMS Queen Elizabeth’s first missions against Daesh will be remembered as a significant moment in the 50-year lifespan of this ship. It also marks a new phase of our current deployment. To date we have delivered diplomatic influence on behalf of the UK through a series of exercises and engagements with our partners – now we are ready to deliver the hard punch of maritime-based air power against a shared enemy. The involvement of HMS Queen Elizabeth and her Air Wing in this campaign also sends a wider message. It demonstrates the speed and agility with which a UK-led Carrier Strike Group can inject fifth generation combat power into any operation, anywhere in the world, thereby offering the British Government, and our allies, true military and political choice.”

Images of F-35B Lightning conducting sorties in support of Operation SHADER.
The jets are operating off of the HMS Queen Elizabeth as part of Carrier Strike Group 21.

Captain James Blackmore, Commander of the Carrier Air Wing, added:

“The Lightning Force is once again in action against Daesh, this time flying from an aircraft carrier at sea, which marks the Royal Navy’s return to maritime strike operations for the first time since the Libya campaign a decade ago. With its fifth generation capabilities, including outstanding situational awareness, the F-35B is the ideal aircraft to deliver precision strikes, which is exactly the kind of mission that 617 Squadron has been training for day-after-day, night-after-night, for these past few months. This is also notable as the first combat mission flown by US aircraft from a foreign carrier since HMS Victorious in the South Pacific in 1943. The level of integration between Royal Navy, Royal Air Force and US Marine Corps is truly seamless, and testament to how close we’ve become since we first embarked together last October.”

There are 18 UK and US F-35 Lightning jets on board HMS Queen Elizabeth, which is the largest number of fifth generation combat aircraft to ever sail the seas.

What is the UK Carrier Strike Group doing?

HMS Queen Elizabeth is the deployed flag ship for Carrier Strike Group 21 (CSG21), a deployment that will see the ship and her escorts sail to the Asia-Pacific and back.

The Carrier Strike Group includes ships from the United States Navy, the Dutch Navy, and Marines from the US Marine Corps. As well as British frigates, destroyers, a submarine, two RFA supply ships and air assets from 617 Sqn, 820 NAS, 815 NAS and 845 NAS.

The Carrier Strike Group.

CSG21 will see the ship along with the Strike Group work with over 40 countries from around the world. The Strike Group will operate and exercise with other countries Navies and Air Forces during the 7 month deployment.

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Heavyend
Heavyend
7 days ago

A significant milestone and a clear demonstration of increased projected sea power to help protect our global interests.

John Hampson
John Hampson
7 days ago

Well Done. The site AirWars reported by Dec 2018 the RAF had flown 8000 missions against IS across Syria and Iraq since Sept 2014. They had released precision weapons 1600 times. The RAF, SAS and British Army, have significantly assisted US forces in smashing one of the most evil movements to have come into existence since the Nazis. Millions of innocent men, women and children have been freed from brutality, slavery and death. President Trump, US, British and French forces will get little credit for their efforts. But had it been up to the odious moral cowardice of Corbyn’s Labour,… Read more »

Last edited 7 days ago by John Hampson
turk
turk
7 days ago
Reply to  John Hampson

We must praise your diligence in 2021, lest we not forget,
A)    Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour is responsible for all that goes wrong.
B)    Anything good wouldn’t have happened if Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour had been in power.
Commenters please remember to add this to the footer of all remarks going forward.
Give yourself a slow hand clap

Last edited 7 days ago by turk
CAM
CAM
7 days ago
Reply to  John Hampson

 👍  🇬🇧 

Benjamin Rule
Benjamin Rule
7 days ago
Reply to  John Hampson

Worth pointing out that while Corbyn was strongly against any military intervention in Syria that was not true of his party as a whole. This speech from Hilary Benn closed the debate on taking action. He supported intervention and I found the speech inspiring.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Qj26SJAJhBY

John Hampson
John Hampson
5 days ago
Reply to  Benjamin Rule

I agree entirely. His speech, quote “We must confront this evil” was a masterpiece and courageous. It was saddening he was in the minority. 66 Labour MP’s voted for the bombing. 152 against. His speech did not move the SNP. All 53 voted with Corbyn against.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
7 hours ago
Reply to  John Hampson

Agreed had nothing been done that movement would have ended up with Med facilities that would have put the Barbary Pirates achievements (part of the first Caliphate) to insignificance. I wonder what the reaction would have been when the first cruise ship was taken over as just one example of the potential malice and destruction that would have developed. Not to mention the thousands who would have flocked to their ranks worldwide casing further havoc that would have been almost unstoppable. That’s the problem with preventing such events you never get support for avoiding the disasters that therefore never happen… Read more »

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
7 days ago
Reply to  John Hampson

No one can say what would or wouldn’t happen to a theoretical leader in some time travel tangent. It’s madness to suggest such. By all means mention the defence but ur personal opinion is at best guess work and inflammatory and at worst I won’t go into.

John Hampson
John Hampson
5 days ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

I was pointing out matters of fact not opinion:-
1) That there was substantial opposition to UK forces acting to what Hillary Benn described when he said in his speech to Parliament “We must confront this evil.”
2) I was also drawing attention that there is a significant number in the UK that actively oppose the use of UK armed forces, even when they a “confronting evil”.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
7 hours ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

And here is an example of never being able to show the events that due to action never happen. Speculation indeed but thankfully most of us don’t need to anticipate them in time to avoid them just suffer the consequences of any missteps and mistakes along the way whichever way it goes. Any understanding of the history of the 20s and 30s teaches the inability to read the future correctly, till it is too late. Current decisions have to be made in light of that and many other examples from history and sadly sometimes you get it wrong. However I… Read more »

Philip Goodfellow
Philip Goodfellow
7 days ago

Great shots of 617 Squadron joining the fight against daesh

Rob
Rob
7 days ago

Great capability to demonstrate on the world stage. However they aren’t doing anything that can’t be done from RAF Akrotiri with Typhoon. Presumably the tankers are operating from Akrotiri in any case. Still it does provide the CSG with operational experience and also signals to the world that UK CS is back and unless you behave may be coming to a place near you.

Mike
Mike
7 days ago
Reply to  Rob

Lol, all true. Love the last sentence, spot on.

Trevor Holcroft
Trevor Holcroft
7 days ago
Reply to  Rob

Yes, but to be fair if for whatever reason then Akrotiri is not available…

chris stocken
chris stocken
7 days ago

The Yanks Have Akrotiri for a few more weeks.

Trevor Holcroft
Trevor Holcroft
7 days ago
Reply to  chris stocken

Yes
But my point is, albeit a laboured one perhaps, that if for whatever reason in the future if the base ceases to be available permanently then we have 2 aircraft carriers. Hence the benefits of carriers.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
7 days ago
Reply to  Rob

Pretty much it.

JJ Smallpiece
JJ Smallpiece
7 days ago

At least it gives the plumbers something to do.

barry white
barry white
7 days ago
Reply to  JJ Smallpiece

Does your taps leak at home ?
Then they need sorting out
I think you will find that theres abit more pluming on QE than at home so yes the plummers will be busy
Oh and before i finish ships leak all the time 24 hrs a day
Try going on a liner now and then and see the problems they have

JayNy86
JayNy86
7 days ago
Reply to  barry white

Think he means the armourers chap.

farouk
farouk
7 days ago

Anybody know what weapons they used?

farouk
farouk
7 days ago
Reply to  farouk

Ok, having a butchers I find this picture from the QE twitter feed regards those ISIS strikes anybody know what that package is peaking out from its bomb bay:

:

E4fOa-IXwAA6g1v.jpg
Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
7 days ago
Reply to  farouk

No idea. Robert and Davey might know?

Robert was FAA with Sea Harrier.

Rudeboy1
Rudeboy1
6 days ago
Reply to  farouk

Pretty straight forward to work out…

Only weapons cleared for UK use are Asraam on outermost wing pylons, Amraam C-5 mounted on bay doors and Paveway IV internally and on the inner and mid pylons.

As the only stores carried externally in the pics are Asraam on the external pylon you can be pretty sure that the following is the warload:

2 x Asraam WVR missile mounted on outermost external pylons.
2 x Amraam C-5 BVR missile mounted internally on the bomb bay doors
2 x Paveway IV 500lb LGB mounted internally.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
7 days ago

After so, so long the UK finally have this capability back. Potential enemies will take notice, and the CSG will only grow stronger.

Stay safe guys and girls and thank you.

Gareth
Gareth
7 days ago

Wonder if this’ll be potentially the first time that they perform SRVLs with live ammunition after returning from sorties where no weapons are used?

Jonathan
Jonathan
7 days ago

Clearly this is fake news and all the footage made up…how many times do you lot need to be told..we don’t have any aircraft for our carriers, complete white elephants.

im going back to reading the daily splot.

Martyn Palmer
Martyn Palmer
7 days ago

Absolutely fantastic to see us back in the fixed wing naval business and with a platform that only the Americans have something comparable, the 2 QE although expensive will provide more than enough value for money, after all I expect them both to last 50 yrs, the price broken down by years will show the absolute amazing value of these platforms at a time when finding that value in military procurement is proving very difficult indeed

John Clark
John Clark
7 days ago
Reply to  Martyn Palmer

Well said Martyn, happy days….. But perhaps not for the angry bearded men on the ground….!

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
6 days ago
Reply to  Martyn Palmer

I wonder if they were that expensive – £3bn each (including share of R&D/NRE) – that is what the NHS burns through in one week.

[They would have been even cheaper if politicians hadn’t re-profiled the spend multiple times and mucked about with the spec]
[USS Gerald R Ford is £12.54bn, including R&D/NRE]

John Hayes
John Hayes
7 days ago

It is so reassuring to see we have that ability.

David
David
6 days ago

I wonder how… jealous… US Mil will be at this capability; it must give them pause for thought that their CVN programme is the right way to go

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
6 days ago
Reply to  David

Not in the slightest!

David Barry
David Barry
6 days ago

Money Dan, money. That and crew.

They’ll be seeing the capability that QEC Class bring to the party for a fraction of the cost – The USMC will be taking notes.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
6 days ago
Reply to  David Barry

Fair one David. I was thinking purely capability and numbers.

David Barry
David Barry
6 days ago

Well, folliwing on from an earlier theme, now might be a good time for the CSG to dock in Colombo and show them an alternative…

https://www.dailymirror.lk/features/Sri-Lankas-economic-crisis-and-policy-uncertainties-may-hinder-foreign-investment/185-214511

Sbridge1866
Sbridge1866
6 days ago

Interesting to see the pictures from HMS Kent in Piraeus with Sea Venom on display. I didn’t think they were in service yet but that didn’t look like a test load.

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
5 days ago

If it came to a squeeze can the F35Bs put 6 AMRAAM/Meteor’s in their bays or is it only 4 max? And on the wing, can they load up to 4 or even 6?

Gemma
Gemma
3 days ago

Just wondering. can the F35B fly from Roads and off road hides in European etc countryside. As the RAF Harriers did in West Germany back in the 1970s-80s ?

Gemma
Gemma
3 days ago

Labour Government ordered the UKs 2 x New world beating designed Aircraft Carriers.
Since 2010.11 years of Tory slash and cuts to all 3 services = Not enough modern warfighting or defensive kit. No towed 155mm Artillery or High Altitude ground to air missile defence etc. Ajax what a disaster on Tory government watch. just saying.